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Utagawa Hiroshige II, Two views of Mt. Fuji from the Sumida River, a pair of hanging scroll paintings

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Height: 888.000 mm (each)
Width: 298.000 mm (each)

Arthur Morrison Collection
Gift of Sir W. Gwynne-Evans, Bt.

Asia JA JP 1554 (1913.5-1.0298);Asia JA JP 1555 (1913.5-1.0299)

    Utagawa Hiroshige II, Two views of Mt. Fuji from the Sumida River, a pair of hanging scroll paintings

    Japan
    Edo period, about AD 1860-65

    The Sumida River in Edo was a place of amusement for all social groups: artisans and merchants lived close to its banks and feudal lords had their summer villas there. Samurai too flocked from the upper class Yamanote district. These scrolls of spring and summer scenes show (on the right) a pair of geisha enjoying cherry blossom on the embankment near Mimeguri shrine. On the left scroll two geisha are shown boarding a boat for a trip with a patron. Beyond is the famous landmark of Ryōgoku Bridge, and a fresh green willow tree lends a feeling of cool to the days of early summer. In the background Mt. Fuji can be clearly seen still with a topping of snow. In modern times, it is normally hidden behind a cloud of pollution unless a strong wind clears the atmosphere.

    Hiroshige II (1826-69), previously known as Suzuki Shigenobu, was the pupil and adopted son of the renowned Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). The pupil faithfully continues Hiroshige's techniques in this pair of hanging scrolls: the landscape backgrounds are done in a soft wash, while the figures are picked out in splashes of brighter colour.

    The singature reads 'Hiroshige hitsu' ('the brush of Hiroshige'). The seal reads 'Nisei Ichiryūsai Hiroshige gain' ('painting seal of the second-generation Ichiryūsai Hiroshige').

    L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

    T. Clark, Ukiyo-e paintings in the Briti (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)

    M. Narasaki (ed.), Hizō Ukiyo-e taikan, vol. 1 (Tokyo, Kodansha, 1987)

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